New York’s in Play for the Democratic Convention

Good morning. It’s Tuesday. We’ll look at the case New York City is making to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention. We’ll also see a long-expired taxi driver’s license and meet the theatrical and television producer to whom it was issued when he was a college student.

Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Promoting New York to be the host of the 2024 Democratic National Convention is often one of the top three items on Mayor Eric Adams’s agenda when he encounters White House officials. New York is one of three finalists in what my colleague Katie Glueck says is an insider’s game, and also a debate over Democratic messaging and symbolism that turns on regional rivalries. I asked her to explain what’s at stake.

What is Adams’s pitch?

He and other advocates for New York City’s convention bid are casting the city as a turnkey operation — a place with the infrastructure to absorb thousands of convention-goers easily, and one with the experience to throw a large-scale, splashy event. Adams has emphasized New York’s cultural offerings and the city’s walkability, and he and other boosters are also playing up New York as a racially diverse and liberal city that’s a bastion of big-D Democratic values with a strong fund-raising base.

You write that Houston is out of the running and that Atlanta and Chicago are often said to be the favorites.Does New York have a chance?

My latest round of reporting found that New York was one of three cities to advance toward the endgame of the process, hashing out potential nuts-and-bolts terms with the Democratic National Committee, but there are a lot of moving pieces and factors at play.

Politically, the cases for Chicago or Atlanta are straightforward: Chicago is a blue city in a blue state, but it is also located in the Midwest, a crucial battleground region, and officials and lawmakers from nearby swing states have argued that a Chicago convention would help Democrats there.

Atlanta, of course, is in one of the nation’s ultimate swing states — Georgia, which played a crucial role in both delivering the White House to President Biden and in cementing Democratic control of the Senate. Atlanta advocates have all pointed that out publicly.

But convention decisions are also decided by logistical matters: hotel availability, union friendliness, transportation options, fund-raising ability from the various host committees and security considerations, among other factors. New York is betting that by those metrics, along with its messaging about Democratic values, the city has a credible case to make.

In many ways, the final decision will be a matter of Biden’s preference.

Who besides Adams is talking up New York? How much are those who support New York (or Chicago) sounding off against Atlanta, and why?

New York has many high-profile backers, including Gov. Kathy Hochul; the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer; Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the House Democratic leader; and former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with a number of business leaders.

This moment in the convention search process has been marked by plenty of private and not-so-private disparagement between the competitors. Foes of the Atlanta bid note its location in a state led by a prominent Republican governor where abortion access is strictly limited and gun access is not.

Some union leaders have begun weighing in for Chicago or New York, and explicitly against Atlanta, citing concerns about its labor friendliness. The Atlanta mayor, Andre Dickens, responded to the criticism of Georgia by saying, “Why wouldn’t you take the mantra of, ‘Let’s bring our brand of government and politics to the South?’ And you can then influence things.” Opponents of Chicago and New York have noted that neither are swing cities or located in swing states.


It’s a partly sunny day near the low 40s, with a chance of showers early. At night, it’s mostly cloudy. Expect a slight chance of flurries and temperatures dropping to around the high 20s.


In effect until Feb. 13 (Lincoln’s Birthday).

The latest Metro news

Credit…John Tully for The New York Times
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  • Santos’s office: Representative George Santos recently opened his local office in a storefront that was once a flower shop and later a massage parlor. It has attracted more gawkers and media than constituents so far.

More local news

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  • Sixth Avenue revamps its legacy: Lampposts on Sixth Avenue, also called the Avenue of the Americas, have long had large medallions representing dozens of countries. Now replacements are being made in a Department of Transportation sign-making shop.

Taxi driver, movie executive, producer and, now, author

Credit…Julian Schlossberg

There will be a gathering this afternoon celebrating a just-published book. You might call it a party. Friends of the author will read from the book, but maybe not the part where he wrote that he doesn’t like big parties.

One chapter describes a small party in the 1990s that Barbra Streisand invited him to. It morphed into a big one, given by Liza Minnelli, for Streisand and Jack Nicholson. The author writes that after being greeted by Streisand and Minnelli, he spent some time in what amounted to the quiet room at the party — “empty except for a bartender” — where Michelle Pfeiffer struck up a conversation: “Are you a friend of Jack’s?”

Julian Schlossberg writes that he said “no, Barbra’s.” They talked for a while. “No one, not even the silent bartender, interrupted,” he writes.

Schlossberg has been a producer, a film buyer, a radio host, the vice president of Paramount Pictures and the head of a film production and distribution company. Adding “author” to the list was a pandemic project. The book, “Try Not to Hold It Against Me: A Producer’s Life,” is “the only time I can remember creating anything that’s mine, as opposed to collaborating.”

But first — before he was a producer of Broadway shows like “Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical” and the producer or executive producer of movies that starred Mia Farrow, Melanie Griffith and Natasha Richardson, among others — he drove a cab in New York City, to make money for college. He still has his long-expired taxi driver’s license and the memory of the photograph on it.

The photo was a second take. On the first take, he recalled, “I smiled for the picture, and the police — in those days, the police took your picture — said, ‘Nobody smiles.’”

He said he had scouted garages he could get a taxi from until he found one with cars that had built-in AM radios — most cabs did not, he said — and radio became the soundtrack for long hours behind the wheel. He was captivated by comedy albums like “An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May” that were getting airtime.

“All I wanted to do was meet them, shake their hand and say how much I enjoyed their comedy,” he said. He eventually met Nichols (who died in 2014) and May (who wrote the foreword to the book).

Schlossberg said that driving a taxi was the second-hardest job he ever had. “The hardest was, I was a pin boy in a bowling alley.” He did this when he was 13 or 14 — downstairs from a dry cleaner he also worked for at the same time, as the delivery boy.

He told the owner of the bowling alley about the job at the cleaners, but not vice versa. Sometimes the dry cleaning deliveries went on a detour through the bowling alley. “Murray, the owner of the bowling alley, got a kick out of my problem,” he wrote.


Riding the QM6

Dear Diary:

Every Thursday, I take the QM6 bus from Manhattan to North Shore Towers in Queens to a diner for a weekly lunch meeting of my ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) group.

We spend a few hours discussing — and, many times, solving — the world’s problems. It is a challenging and fulfilling way to spend the time.

Once, as I boarded the bus, the driver asked if I was heading to my usual stop. I said I was and explained why.

When I got on the bus for my excursion into Queens the following week, the same driver told me his father-in-law had recently retired to Florida and needed something to get him out of the house.

He said he had told his wife about my group and had suggested his father-in-law should do something similar.

One Thursday not long after that, I was at the diner with my friends when I heard a man’s voice interrupt the conversation. It was the bus driver.

“You guys got it right,” he said. “My father-in-law needs a place like this.”

— Arthur Flug

Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Send submissions here and read more Metropolitan Diary here.

Glad we could get together here. See you tomorrow. — J.B.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. You can find all our puzzles here.

Melissa Guerrero, Emmett Lindner and Ed Shanahan contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team at


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